The Sacrament of Waiting

Waiting for spring
Waiting for spring

The Sacrament of Letting Go
by Macrina Wiedekehr

she celebrated the sacrament of letting go.
First she surrendered her green,
then the orange, yellow, and red.
finally she let go of her own brown.
Shedding her last leaf
she stood empty and silent, stripped bare.
Leaning against the winter sky,
she began her vigil of trust.

Shedding her last leaf,
she watched it journey to the ground.
She stood in silence
wearing the colors of emptiness,
her branches wondering,
How do you give shade with so much gone?

And then,
the sacrament of waiting began.
The sunrise and the sunset watched with tenderness.
Clothing her with silhouettes
that kept her hope alive.

They helped her to understand that
her vulnerability,
her dependence and need,
her emptiness, her readiness to receive,
were giving her a new kind of Beauty.
Every morning and every evening they stood in silence,
and celebrated together
the sacrament of waiting.

The sacrament of waiting. I began to celebrate this after I didn’t replace my only car.

There were many reasons: the cost, my need for regular exercise, how much harder it is to overschedule when carless. The environment was somewhere near the bottom of the list.

Only later did I begin to value time between events and locations.

A good introduction for Friends planning to attend the Friends General Conference gathering: Eco-Travel. Sign up now to get information about others from your area traveling by train, bus, or bike (from Philadelphia). Thanks to Linda for letting us know about this.

Do readers have stories about benefits they receive from slower travel by train or bus?

3 Responses to “The Sacrament of Waiting”

  1. There are times when I feel that the time I spend during the week at a job etc. is waiting. I have a lot less time to blog than I used to. Nevertheless, the waiting has had some benefits for me that are mostly exercise-related. I sometimes call it “weighting” because a lot of the time away from the computer is spent lifting 20 or so lbs of parts (repeatedly) in a factory.

    Your point about the reduction in over-scheduling is a very good one. I’ve had to edit-out a number of things from my life in order to accomplish my current tasks. My sleeping and eating are more consistent and my life is more balanced, except for a too-long commute.

  2. Martha1955 says:

    Just found your blog today and find it so interesting and unusual. I sold my car in late 2005, because I was moving to a major city and didn’t want to take it with me. I’ve decided not to replace it. I find that my life is more focused, less scattered, and that I enjoy traveling more. I shop less. It’s become important to me to prove to my friends and acquaintances that I can live in the urban northeast, a small college town, and now a medium-size southern city, and I don’t have to drive. It’s a choice, for everyone. It may be a difficult choice, but owning a car does not have to be taken for granted.

    Best wishes to you. Ironically, one of the things I have given up along with the car (against my will) is getting to Friends meeting. Not on the busline in current town; buses don’t run on First Day in the town I’m moving to in a few weeks.

  3. Karen Street says:

    Both of you speak to my experience: we benefit from letting go of options, but it’s not possible just to let go of options we dislike! I feel that living without a car makes my life easier and more rewarding, and I regret the losses that come with this choice. At one time, I might have paid more attention to the particular losses than to the overall quality of my life.